7 October. 1917
My dear friend -
It was indeed a very great pleasure to hear from you again and to learn that you were coming around so well. I had heard that you were wounded but had never heard how badly, or where. Such a delightfully interesting letter as yours was, I have never received before. I certainly would have enjoyed that drive along the Clyde river. and through the beautiful scotch [sic] country to Loch Lomond. I have vague ideas of their beauty and to see them is simply a 'fond wish'. Do you know I think the little cottage near the sea interested me more than any of the other wonderful things you wrote about, I enjoy quiet, peaceful rural scenes, please excuse all the adjectives but I hope you will understand what I mean.
I received your letter before I left home and read it to all the family in fact to some of the neighbors. They are all very interested in you and wished to be remembered to you when I wrote. So please accept the good wishes of the kind hearted Bidford folk.
Just left Bidford a week ago Thursday and after a bumpy trip over the C.N.R., I arrived in 'ye auld toone' ready for another years study and pleasure. It is certainly great here. Mr Pecover, I know you would enjoy college life. I do not believe I ever enjoyed myself more than the first two days I was back at college. Meeting the old friends and sizing up the the freshies, getting into the work and shaking hands with some of the prof's. There is good friendly feeling here between the prof's and students for which Queens is noted, There is not one snobbish prof. on the whole staff which goes to show that they are truly educated men.
Every one at home was feeling fine when I left. There are very few changes around Bidford a few people have new cards. and a tremendous gale which swept over the district in June carried off about a dozen barns and about twenty five windmills. among them both our mills. hen coups and small outbuildings. It was surely some storm and we were terribly frightened i.e. most [word crossed out 'of'] all. I have no fear in storms because I feel that the One who guides in fair weather, still guides [word crossed out 'the] in foul. It seems silly to me to be scared because death is perhaps the worst that can befall and it comes sooner or later to all any way.
You have had rather a pleasant summer. Went on several nice motor trips, several picnics, and a few dances, besides have had company most of the [?time]. My coz. Sarah Merriman, a girl my own age from Ontario had a nervous breakdown and she with a trained nurse came west and spent the summer. The nurse has gone home now but Sarah is spending a year in the west. She has greatly improved and likes it fine too. Edgar my coz. from Queen's spent the summer there too. Uncle Jim visited us besides heaps of other people There seemed to be no end to the visitors and there was certainly no end to the work. Nevertheless we had quite a good time. We had a tennis court on the lawn and used to dance on the front verandah nearly every night. I wish you could have been there for I remember that you are fond of dancing.
about Aug. I. hard work was begining to show its effects on me. So much against my wishes I was packed off on a trip to the west, and was gone over a month I had a great rest, gained five pounds and came home full of enthusiasm for college. I spent most of my time at Regina and like it very much there. My cousin there says that I must spend a month with them every summer. I do hope I can manage, but Sarah maid is really going to marry Mr Alf Potter this fall, and if we cannot get other help, my college course will end and I shall go home and take charge. My mother could not possibly manage alone, We are hoping that Mrs Keeler will come back. you will perhaps remember her.
My brother Justus married Miss Annie Kerr last Tuesday. I missed the wedding but I could not stay for it and get her [sic] in time to register. so as it was a very quiet wedding I came instead. It was quite a surprise to us all but we are all delighted. Marjorie and [?Marguerte] go to school every day and are getting along splendidly. They both had operations in Ontario for tonsils and adnoids [sic] this summer and since have looked like different children There [sic] health is so much improved and Marjorie is shooting right up. There was an awfully nice teacher at Bidford this year. A very dainty little girl. Our boys are all going to start for school again. She is a great little entertainer and very popular.
I was very disappointed in not seeing Nellie Holden this summer. She is teaching you know, and she was visiting the first month of her holidays and I was away the last so we did not meet, Nellie has given up coming to Queens. I think she is going to be married. but am not sure. I always liked Nellie. Mr & Mrs H, are fine. [?do] not think they have changed a bit.
Mr Kerr is failing very fast. my heart aches for him. He used to be so lively and full of jokes. but not so now. Sue is not at home and I do believe he misses her terribly. She is a girl after her father's heart Mrs Kerr looks better than I have seen her looking in years. Home will never seem the same after the Kerrs are gone. I do think so much of them.
Mr Andy Potter is still in poor health he is very pessimistic. and seems so easily discouraged. Gladys is taking her second this year & Everett is taking his second part third. By the way Zeph got his entrance but he does not intend to go on.
Just stopped to see an aeroplane going over. They are as common as wild geese in the west. We are quite near Mohawk Camp and see from two to four planes going over every day. I should love to fly It must be desperately exciting. The last Sunday I was home. Ellen Brown invited a few in for turkey dinner and we surely had a grand reunion. Besides the Brown family there were Harold St. John & his bro Clifford, Frank Suter - Jut, Annie and myself as guest of honour The meal was a perfect feast and it was such a pleasant day that I shall never forget it . .
I am boarding in Residence this year and like it very much There are about 30 girls here. but five of them are only grubbers i.e. just take meals here. Mrs McPhail. whose husband is a presbyterian minister on active Service is the Dean of the house. She is lovely We all love her. The rooms are pleasant, meals could not be better and there is a dandy bunch here. If you are sent home be sure and come to Kingston I shall surely try and give you a good time.
Am taking four classes this year, Senior English, Sr. French, Sr. Latin and English history. I was lucky enough to get off my five classes last year and am trying to wipe out four this year. I was indeed lucky for from Christmas time on I had a grand time. and neglected my work considerably.
The east is beautiful now. The maples are changing colour and are a magnificent mass of colour. From my window I see the most tantalizing apple tree loaded with ripe apples. We girls are going to make a raid on it some night by going down the fire escape and running along a flat roof. There with a broad standing jump we can land in the apple tree. We have not decided on the night yet for to do our deed of thieving.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and we girls are going on a “hike” tomorrow afternoon. It will be great rambling through the woods and taking snap shots. Suppose you have a fine collection of snaps now I do hope you have one of “Balliacrach” farm house for me.
I saw Winston Churchill's “Crisis” in movies in Toronto last week and it was splendid. You likely know the story. While in Winnipeg I saw “Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm” which was too cute for any thing. Do you remember Mrs McLean, my friend in Winnipeg? She has a baby son six months old. William Stuart McLean. a real scotch [sic] name but Billy for short.
We still have the same bunch of men at home. Scottie is the only one to enlist. He is very fortunate never been wounded yet, Scottie is going to be married when the war is over.
The crops in the west were fair this year. Our fields averaged about fifteen bushels per acre. and the gov. set the price at $2.40 per bushel, so you see farming is profitable. The weather for the past week has been very gloomy and raining a good share of the time I shall be so glad when the weather clears. This dull weather is so depressing.
There are 600 patients over in Queens hospital most of them bed patients. The girls are permitted to go on Sunday and wheel out those who are able to be taken out, Nothing is too good for those splendid men, and we are all willing to help them. The girls at our Residence are going to get up concerts among ourselves and put them on over in the hospital. It will help while away some of the time for them.
There are over eighty freshmen in medicine this year. It looks as though they were trying to avoid conscription. but it may not help any. Well Mr Pecover you may be growing wearied with such a long letter but I have wanted to write you all summer but did not have your address. However I hope that you continue to improve, and with Best wishes for success and good health I am.
Very truly yours.
Enclosed please find a snap of yours truly taken on the breakwater of L. Ontario